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IP205 Consumption

Image credit: roanokecollege / flickr

Module leader: Dr Kirsten Harris
  • Core module | 30 CATS
  • Terms 1-3 | 23 weeks
  • 20 workshops of two hours/week
  • Six hours of research project guidance
  • Not available to students outside the School for Cross-faculty Studies

Moodle Platform

Principal Aims

This module critically examines the role that consumption plays in contemporary and historical societies, and analyses different theorisations and cultural works which engage with issues of consumption. Consumption connects the local and the global, and shapes key aspects of the lived human experience: from the food we eat, to what we wear, to cultural and leisure activities, to services that we engage with such as higher education. Consumption complements its sister second-year core module in Sustainability, with each exploring a major organising concept of contemporary society from different intellectual perspectives. Where Sustainability draws on contemporary ecological, economic and regulatory challenges and the development of effective evidence-based policy, Consumption’s primary focus is on cultural interventions and sociological and historical theoretical frameworks.


Second-year Liberal Arts students visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford, UK)

Left: Second-year Liberal Arts students visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford, UK), as part of the Consumption module. During this trip, students explore questions about how consumption functions in different cultures, how cultures themselves are consumed, and how heritage and 'Big C' culture are consumed in museums.


  Please note: Module availability and staffing may change year on year depending on availability and other operational factors. The School for Cross-faculty Studies makes no guarantee that any modules will be offered in a particular year, or that they will necessarily be taught by the staff listed on these pages.